When life is damned – then you get the work day to flow

Stress, anxiety, family problems and so maybe a little parking fine on it. We have all been through days when it just gets too much. And even though life is shaking, the job must be taken care of.

Alice Boyes, author and psychologist, gives in Harvard Business Review some tips to be able to handle the working day when you feel pumped out or overwhelmed by the sometimes angular pieces of the puzzle of life:

Focus on the familiar

Review your to-do list. Try to find a task that you have done many times before and that does not require much effort. This helps because you know all the steps and can easily get a flow. Even tasks that can be started and finished quickly can give a sense of accomplishment.

Do something you postponed

Another tip goes in the opposite direction but can also be effective. Do a task that you would not normally prioritize or tackle something you have avoided. It helps you feel competent and on the right course. When people feel low, there is a tendency to withdraw, but by acting and believing in themselves, a negative emotional spiral can be reversed.

Read more: Study: Engineers have better health than other highly educated people

Reduce ambitions

Productivity can raise both mood and resilience, but trying to perform at a high level when life shakes can lead to you being further drained of energy. A good compromise is to do half, or two-thirds, of your regular work. Setting more modest goals can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Trust you

Do not be afraid to show yourself vulnerable in front of your colleagues. At least tell one person what you are going through. Then you will have a better understanding that you may be distracted or less happy than usual. The best sources of support during difficult times may be small unexpected gestures from people you may not be so close to.

Do not be afraid of negative emotions

Also, do not be afraid that strong emotions will ruin or hinder your productivity. Depression can increase creativity and anger can be a driving force for determination. The job can also be a haven for anxiety. The key is to use the emotions to propel you forward rather than sweeping them under the rug.


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